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If a black squirrel from the South End mated with a white squirrel from JP, would we get Holstein squirrels?

Black squirrel

Way down here in remotest Roslindale, our squirrels seem to come in one variety: Gray. So on a trip up to the South End this morning, this black squirrel, foraging along Harrison Avenue, came as a bit of a surprise.

Well, at least to us. He has quite the fan base already:

Based on reports we're getting, from Brighton to Bremen Street in East Boston to Harvard Square and Boston Common and Cambridge, black squirrels are not that unheard of around here.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

At least two of the black squirrels are seen regularly in Harvard Yard.

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n/t

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..

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Just the other day I saw a squirrel that was charcoal gray, without the white belly that's on the standard uniform. My one semester of genetics suggests it's a dilute version of the black one.

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There are a lot of black squirrels in my neck of the Fells these days, too. It also seems like they are smaller than the usual squirrelspects, but their black coats may simply be less poofy. Does anyone know if they are actually a different sub species moving in?

I have to wonder if there is something adaptive about this sudden rise in black squirrel numbers. A response to red tailed hawks and other raptors becoming more prevalent in the last 20 years? The white ones may survive only because they are less conspicuous in concrete-laden environments, but the black ones seem to be expanding.

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n/t

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When I was a little kid in the 1960s we used to visit cousins in Ottawa and get excited over the cute black squirrels they had. Never saw any but grey ones in NYC. Wonder if they've been gradually expanding their territory over the decades.

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How do we prove that the black squirrels are natural? Do the collars and the cuffs match?

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that when the Northeast had big old growth forests--before they all got cut down to make boats and such by the colonials--the black coloration was much more common with this species. I think it's just a recessive trait that once conferred an advantage but doesn't anymore.

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Are bears next?

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Next? You mean "now".

One in our area last year (southern edge of the Middlesex Fells). It apparently denned up for the winter and found its way to Arlington in the spring where it was captured and relocated.

Only a matter of time until they start terrorizing Brookline the western hinterlands of Boston.

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"Melanistic" squirrels. They have a genetic mutation that causes increased production of melanin. I, for one, find them exceedingly awesome. We see them fairly frequently in Watertown.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_squirrel

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Turns out that black squirrels are just grey squirrels with a mutation. Same for white squirrels.

https://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/mammals/squirrels/abou...

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It's lived in Franklin Square park for several years now. I saw it yesterday when it ventured across East Brookline St and into the garden next to the Cathedral homes. Seems like a happy little squirrel.

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These black squirrels have been a regular sight in my East Boston neighborhood for years now. They tend to come out in the early morning.

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Lurking in the trees on Blossom Street. They must be Residents at the Squirrel Med School on the Esplanade. If not, they are escapees from some twisted genetic experiment.

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..about 7 years ago. One more vibrant red, cream and dark brown than the other. Mutant grey squirrels.
Very pretty!

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were fond of nibbling on empty crack vials.

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